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Re: Dunfermline Abby
King Robert the Bruce is buried in Dunfermline Abbey. On one of my visits I
noted that Margaret's former resting place is marked. In the Abby proper and
that her body was moved within Dunfermline as noted below The western nave
of the Abbey at Dunfermline was built by David I (son of Malcolm Canmore
Caenmore) and St Margaret) in the 12th century, and the eastern part, the
church, was added in the 19th century. King Robert the Bruce is buried here
(except for heart and bone fragments), as Dunfermline was the burial site of
the Scottish monarchs before the adoption of the island of Iona.
The tower of the church bears the words 'King Robert the Bruce' and inside,
beneath the pulpit is The Bruce's tomb, with it's fine brass cover. If you
need further clarification the very helpful people at the Abby can be
reached on Tel: 44 (0)1383 739026 or in the alternative Historic Scotland
Tel: 44 (0) 178 645 0000
Margaret established several churches, including the Abbey of Dunfermline.
The Abbey was built to hold her greatest treasure, a purported fragment of
the ‘True Cross’. If all the supposed pieces of the ‘True Cross’ were
gathered together we could build a few dozen wooden houses. Her book of the
Gospels, richly adorned, by her husband Malcolm III Caenmore (Gaelic “Big
Head, ) who could not read, with jewels one day
dropped into a river and was according to legend miraculously recovered, is
now in the Bodleian library at Oxford. She foretold the day and place of her
death, Edinburgh 16 November 1093, her body was buried before the high altar
In 1249 (Old Style) 1250 Georgian Margaret was canonized by Innocent IV
(Pope 1243-1254), and her mortal remains were moved 19 June, 1259, to a new
shrine, the base of which is still visible beyond the modern east wall of
the Dunfermline church. During the Reformation her head passed into the
possession of Mary Queen of Scots, and later was secured by the Jesuits at
Douai, where it is believed to have perished during the French Revolution.
According to George Conn, "De duplici statu religions aped Scots"
(Rome,1628), the rest of her body, together with those of Malcolm, were
acquired by Philip II of Spain, and placed in two urns in the Escorial.
Bishop Giles of Edinburgh applied through Pius IX (Pope 1846-78) for the
restoration to Scotland, of Margaret and Malcolm remains they could not be
found. A few years later their urns were miraculously
discovered. They remain in Spain.
The chief authority for Margaret's life is the contemporary biography
printed in "ACTT SS.", II, June. Turgot, Margaret’ confessor, a monk of
Durham and later Archbishop of St. Andrews mentions William the Seemly, he
is alleged to have authored the biography but then the authorship has also
been credited to Theodoric, a somewhat obscure monk. There has been much
scholarly debate the point remains unsettled.
Ref CHALLONER, Britannia Sancta, I (London, 1745),
BELLESHEIM, History of the Catholic Church in Scotland, tr. Blair, III
STEEDMAN Our Island Saints,(London, 1912)
The (St) Margaret who arrived in Scotland with William 'the Seemly' St Clair
> is buried in Dunfermline Abbey as anyone who visits the Abbey will
> Niven Sinclair
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